Accession Number:

ADA558775

Title:

Suitability of Potential Alternatives to Pyrotechnic Distress Signals

Descriptive Note:

Interim rept.

Corporate Author:

COAST GUARD NEW LONDON CT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Report Date:

2012-02-01

Pagination or Media Count:

88.0

Abstract:

Purpose To determine the potential suitability of electronic alternatives to pyrotechnic visual distress signals through the evaluation of the effectiveness of presently-available LED and other devices as visual distress signal devices VDSDs. Methods Requirements workshop, market research, field testing to assess visibility at different ranges, paired comparison testing to assess attention-getting characteristics, and ergonomic testing. Results Lab test results predicting device visual detection range based on effective intensity compared well with results obtained from field testing. Light-emitting diode LED devices tested consistently better than incandescent or flashtube devices. Color and flash pattern rapid flash rate or S-O-S characteristic improved the perceptive performance of the devices. Conclusions LED devices have potential as an alternative to pyrotechnic VDSDs. Desirable VDSD characteristics identified in this report can be used to inform future VDSD performance requirements development. Intensity profiles omni-directional versus narrow beam must be considered when comparing predicted visual detection ranges. Detection ranges predicted from laboratory-measured Effective Intensity of white VDSDs compared favorably with ranges observed during field tests. This indicates that Effective Intensity can be used in lieu of field tests to predict the visual detection range of VDSDs under specified meteorological conditions.

Subject Categories:

  • Electrical and Electronic Equipment
  • Escape, Rescue and Survival

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE